It’s the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, and I’m glad for this.
But even if I were not, I would still support Planned Parenthood.
For I would still want to have laws that trust women, and implement practices that care for them.
The main reason is simple: criminalizing abortion does not reduce abortions. It results in more unsafe abortions. If we compare the evidence, countries with strong anti-abortion laws do not have their intended effect. An Anti-Abortion person should recognize the inefficacy of such laws.
Policies that do reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, however, include greater prosperity for women, better schooling, and access to different options, and good, high quality medical care. When women have greater access to consistent family planning and contraception, there will be fewer medical procedures that result in terminating pregnancy. Most likely, Obamacare will be the single greatest force that will reduce abortions. Thos who are anti- abortion should fight for an economy that promoted greater health care and more jobs with benefits.
That’s not the current political climate, however.
Churches should also stop shaming women for having sex outside of marriage. The shame puts religious women in a double bind. It inhibits the women from coming to the church for help; and it implicitly makes children a punishment.
I’m not the first to say such things. I’m fortunate that I’ve been trusted to give counsel to women who want to know all their options. It was important that I was non-judgmental. I encouraged them to get medical help. I encouraged them to think of their lives many years down the road; to examine their support systems. It was their choice; and I was free. We did not have the heavy hand of the state coming in between our understanding of God’s wish for us.
So today is a good day. It could be better – too many women are finding their practices restricted for political purposes. But I am celebrating this day as one that now offers all sorts of families greater options for their prosperity and freedom.